Maine adopts ranked-choice voting. What is it, and how does it work?

Instead of casting a ballot for a single candidate, the voter ranks all of the candidates by preference. So if there are four choices, the voter is asked to rank them one through four.

If no one wins a majority on the first round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. For voters, that means if the eliminated candidate was your first choice, then your second-choice vote will be applied in the next round of counting.

If your second choice is eliminated, your vote for third choice will be applied — and so on until someone wins a majority…

Opponents argue that because it is more complex, ranked-choice voting depresses turnout and leads to more errors in part because it can be confusing. In a rural state like Maine, where half of the communities count ballots by hand, ranked voting could also lead to more errors by the people doing the counting. Opponents argue further that the voting method can still skew the results toward someone not favored by the majority, and it can be costly.